120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear !

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120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear !

Post by Doctorbass » Mar 26 2015 8:46pm

I think this could be a great debate!.

There is many opinion about that.

Some say that ground up protect from being electrocuted by conductive sharp object falling and touching the L and N blade.

Well it make sense.. but why it seem that all around me all receptacle i see , in store, at friends houses, even homw hardware store have receptacke with ground down...


And... Why the hell all the 90 degree 120V plus gave the ground DOWN ??? and also why most of the 120V receptacle have writing so it make it readable when ground is down.... and also most of the pictures of 120V receptacle in my home depot are with ground down.. and all label readable this way...

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it's like according to the Ground Up opinion we wodel need to have the cord attached to the plug ging up before returning down to the ground ??.. lol


Here is a great discussion here: http://www.mikeholt.com/technical.php?i ... 9-23-99%29

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Look like All Leviton receptacle are shown with ground down on their packaging...

even their own YT channel are showing Receptacle installed ground down:




Even this guy take more than 15 sec trying to simulate stupid short to the conductive blades... lol






This one indicate that the decision is still not decided yet!.. there is label in both direction.. lol

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Apparently the electrical code does not mention anything about that!!

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by skeetab5780 » Mar 26 2015 9:12pm

For one the ground was not always there, back in the day the systems were 2 wire, manufacturers probably just added them on to their existing device yokes and as a standard they were introduced on the bottom side. Yes it is true that years and years down the road its started being more common to see a duplex receptacle installed upside down in a industrial or commercial application. It looked very strange at first and was simply the ingenuity of a regular Joe maintenance electrician or plant engineers bright electrical "common sense"if you will. To have a 50% chance of preventing a short circuit across the main terminal blades from possible falling debris or conductive materials. This slowly caught on by inspectors and was allowed but not required to this day. Now 40 years have passed and most of the sample pictures you have posted are for residential grade devices that are commonly 15amp rated and as a standard still are being installed ground down to this day. The last picture you show is of a 20amp GFCI receptacle which properly displays TR (Tamper resistant) in both directions. WHY? Because this device will more commonly be found in the industrial or commercial industries. Now there is one 20 amp device you show that does not comply with this "myth"of mine And that is the 90 degree GFCI (Ground fault circuit interrupter) The only thing i can think of is that it is made in China as cheap as possible and uses a patent that was readily available from other manufacturers making similar standardized products in a different amperage.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by amberwolf » Mar 27 2015 12:31am

The only thing I "know" about it is that "modern" places here in the USA seem to be built with the wall outlets ground pin up *if they are switched*, and ground pin down *if they are always on*.

Other than that, I couldn't say if there is any reason to do one or the other.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by flathill » Mar 27 2015 1:33am

Ther is no right way in truth but yes ground up is slightly safer. The only house I've see with the grounds all up was wired by the owner, who happened to be a old wise electrician.

If you really concerned about safety dont buy a breaker made in Mexico or made in China. If you are ultra paranoid dont use resettable breakers at all, a fuse that blows is way safer.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by Punx0r » Mar 27 2015 3:47am

Here is the answer:

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The length of the insulation on the pins is such that no bare part of the pin is exposed when the plug is inserted far enough into the socket to make a connection. Accidental (or deliberate) shorts aside, it also prevents the possibility of a fingertip touching a live pin while inserting or removing the plug without first switching off the socket (most wall sockets have a switch per outlet).

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by nutnspecial » Mar 27 2015 5:17am

OMG.

Love the topic.

You could do like me when installing new boxes (new wiring) do them sideways and diagonally and stuff. The codes guys love that lol.

Seriously maybe it's about ergonomics when plugging it in and astetic values. Something falling to dead short is so negligible imo. I bet that thread with them arguing is really entertaining.

On those damn tamper resistant receptacles- apparently they're code now for any new wiring. I was told I had to install the freakn things thru the whole house. I think they are freaking ridiculous and unnecessary, and if you look at local records, you'll see they are pushed into law by powerful companies, not the end users that gotta put up with this shit.
The argument I hear for them is that they're safer for kids? My thinking is that if a kid figures out they have to insert two blades at once it's game over- guaranteed dead short through their body. But that's another topic alltogether.

Oh and, +1 flathill, the breakers or fuses are the deciding factor in safety for sure.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by Punx0r » Mar 27 2015 5:45am

Always interesting to see how standards for common things vary around the world.

All sockets here have been tamper resistant for as long as I can remember. A plastic shutter blocks both the live and neutral pins unless the earth pin (or a screwdriver) is present. Which also prevents plugs of any kind with a missing/broken earth pin being used. Double insulated products not requiring an earth connection often have a dummy plastic "earth" pin moulded into the plug to save on the cost of brass.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by nutnspecial » Mar 27 2015 6:26am

This makes alot more sense with 220v, as it is more likely to hold and kill you if shocked? I know 120v household current will just wake you up (if you're healthy).

I just hate being told what to do in my own damn house- I think building codes should be optional to a large degree- then edjucate buyers of 'buyer beware' on -non codes compliant issues, and let the market decide.
And these ideas are still true when one is rural, which is my goal anyway. Let the towns and cities continue on this path because fighting progression into nanny-state where laws are made and freedoms are taken to 'protect' and for 'greater good' seems impossible.

It's basically like/heading towards the pre-crime thing- if you are genetically identified below a 'democratically' decided value of acceptability for risk of breaking the law or being 'detrimental' (another value that is open to interpretation) to society, is it right to take your freedoms away before they do harm?
That I think is where the nanny-state is heading. It crossed the line along time ago, and continues onward to a logical conclusion.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by Alan B » Mar 27 2015 6:35am

Grounds up on receptacles are required in hospitals. Not sure how widespread this requirement is.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by Fastest1 » Mar 27 2015 7:55am

The cord leaves the plug thru the strain relief shouldnt point upwards potentially dislodging
the connection. IMO

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by MrDude_1 » Mar 27 2015 8:53am

amberwolf wrote:The only thing I "know" about it is that "modern" places here in the USA seem to be built with the wall outlets ground pin up *if they are switched*, and ground pin down *if they are always on*.

Other than that, I couldn't say if there is any reason to do one or the other.
Yeah, ever since I read this years ago, I have been following it. It works most of the time. Very helpful when moving into a new place. :mrgreen:
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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by Punx0r » Mar 27 2015 8:57am

nutspecial wrote:This makes alot more sense with 220v, as it is more likely to hold and kill you if shocked? I know 120v household current will just wake you up (if you're healthy).

I just hate being told what to do in my own damn house- I think building codes should be optional to a large degree- then edjucate buyers of 'buyer beware' on -non codes compliant issues, and let the market decide.
For sure, you get twice the current with a shock off 220V, so twice as dangerous for a given skin resistance. However, IIRC the difference between average dry and average wet skin resistance is about ten times. So touching 110V with wet hands could be much more dangerous than 220V with dry hands.

I get what you're saying about the freedom to do what you wish in your own home. I'd guess your building codes are like ours, in that they come into play on new builds, or serious rework that requires permission from the planning authority. They're concerned with making sure your house isn't a danger to other people (by falling over) or to future inhabitants. There's nothing stopping me from removing half the floorboards or swapping the electrical sockets to anything I like. Although I'd still have a legal duty of care towards others and would invalidate my insurance if my work caused a fire.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by amberwolf » Mar 27 2015 11:47am

Punx0r wrote:(most wall sockets have a switch per outlet).
Perhaps in the UK.

In the USA, or rather, here in Phoenix AZ, most wall sockets *don't* have a switch even for a pair of them. If you're lucky, there is one switched outlet per room, but lots of places have no switched outlets at all or just one in the front room near the door somewhere (presumably for a lamp you can turn on as you come in the door).

(haven't been to enough other places outside the valley to say if its' common nowadays elsewhere).

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by MrDude_1 » Mar 27 2015 12:01pm

amberwolf wrote:
Punx0r wrote:(most wall sockets have a switch per outlet).
Perhaps in the UK.

In the USA, or rather, here in Phoenix AZ, most wall sockets *don't* have a switch even for a pair of them. If you're lucky, there is one switched outlet per room, but lots of places have no switched outlets at all or just one in the front room near the door somewhere (presumably for a lamp you can turn on as you come in the door).

(haven't been to enough other places outside the valley to say if its' common nowadays elsewhere).
no offense, but Phoenix AZ is full of houses built way too fast with not enough oversight. Im sure you're aware of how fast it grew. lol.

I can only comment where I have lived, but on the entire east coast of the USA, plus Texas, I have seen what hes talking about with the switches.
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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by dnmun » Mar 27 2015 12:07pm

my house was built originally with no duplex outlets. it only had lighting circuits in each room and the hallways. tube and thimble is what is was called and the circuits were created by connecting the wires together in the floor joist space by cutting the insulation back on one wire and wrapping the second circuit around it and then soldered with a gas torch heated soldering head. then wrapped with the old type of electrical tape made from impregnated cloth.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by amberwolf » Mar 27 2015 12:20pm

MrDude_1 wrote:wno offense, but Phoenix AZ is full of houses built way too fast with not enough oversight. Im sure you're aware of how fast it grew. lol.
None taken. I know all about the slapdash construction around here. :lol: Iv'e fixed a fair number of things for friends who moved into various places, and scratched my head as I thought "how in the world could they have missed that?" or "what made them do it this way?", etc.

In one expensively built house, I have seen banks of switches near doors for all the outlets in the room, and it was also automated with the X10 stuff so you could control it via internet if you liked. But even in other expensive homes I still only see the same sort of ~1 switched outlet per room, sometimes two or three in a really big room (some of them with one switch for all of them, some individually switched), generally.


And even places like my house, completely rebuilt inside (just original slab walls, beams, and roof remain, except a back room farthest from the fire that had to be totally torn down, dug up, and rebuilt from scratch cuz it was "built wrong") after a fire destroyed a bedroom, all wiring and plumbing/etc had to be brougth up to current code and inspected, and there is just one switched outlet in the rooms that have one. Bathrooms and utility room don't have one at all.



However, I don't know what the codes actually require, or how good the inspection was (not very, from what I can tell so far), cuz some stuff didn't work when I moved back in and I had to fix them. (water heater had one wire not actually in the wire nut, for instance, so it didnt' work at all). Found another problem a few weeks ago (been back here a year now) that worried me, of a wire not all teh way in the wire nut on the stove hood, cuz it mysteriously stopped working one day. Have been checking wire nuts in outlet and siwtch boxes around the house since then, and found no problems yet, but I haven't finished yet. Havent' gotten up in the roof crawlspace to check that stuff yet either. The A/C up on the roof doesnt' work cuz nobody put fuses in it, and never brought them by or installed them after I asked about that, and wouldn't tell me what kind it uses (it's not labelled). I finally found some in my junk boxes last week and put them in, but it still doesnt' actually work for the compressor, and the blower pulls air backwards, blowing *out* the filter intake in the hall, and sucking it out of all the vents in teh rooms. :roll:

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by skeetab5780 » Mar 27 2015 10:43pm

dnmun wrote:my house was built originally with no duplex outlets. it only had lighting circuits in each room and the hallways. tube and thimble is what is was called and the circuits were created by connecting the wires together in the floor joist space by cutting the insulation back on one wire and wrapping the second circuit around it and then soldered with a gas torch heated soldering head. then wrapped with the old type of electrical tape made from impregnated cloth.
This wiring is known as "knob and tube"wiring in the electrical code. It was used all the way up to 1931 in residential construction.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by hxcadam » Mar 30 2015 11:03am

U-Ground UP. I work for an electrical contractor on the weekends sometimes and this is how he taught me. When I asked him about it he said there's no standard in the code but that there is safety benefits as you've mentioned from putting the U-Ground up and none for putting the U-Ground down. Makes sense to me. You do normally see U-Ground down as the standard most everywhere but I sometimes will run into a U-Ground up and think "This guy probably has good attention to detail"

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by Doctorbass » Mar 30 2015 5:26pm

Since there is no "Standard" it would be great AT LEAST to have the right angle plug to allow both direction to get the cable pointing down !!

Actually the Leviton right angle plug I have only allow the cable to point up with the ground up receptacle .. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:


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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by Drunkskunk » Mar 31 2015 6:07pm

When we installed camera and audio equipment, We made the customer dedicate electrical plugs, ground down. The reason is simple. In the event of an accident, like someone trips over the cord, the plug will be pulled down and away, that means the ground will be the last prong to leave the wall.
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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by teslanv » Mar 31 2015 8:38pm

The "correct" way is to install the ground pin upwards. This is what they require in hospitals and many commercial installations.
Residential code allows the outlets to be installed with the ground down, for the simple reason that everyone thinks this is the proper way to install them, and will make such a fuss if installed "upside down". I installed all the outlets in my home with the ground pin up, and I am always explaining why this is so.
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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by nutnspecial » Mar 31 2015 10:09pm

I really didn't know that ground up was the intended proper install orientation.

Why do we all think ground down is the correct way though?

Since I don't believe in accidents, something comes to mind that could also be applicable here?

Hitler said something about controlling the masses- make the lie simple enough for all to understand- repeat, repeat, repeat. Eventually It will become their truth.

Is that what happend with the outlets? just seeing them 99% ground down is enough to convince us huh?

Why are they installed 99% ground down if this is against the proper way though???

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by MrDude_1 » Mar 31 2015 11:42pm

You guys want to really go for a loop... what about having the screws on the side of the outlet be the contacts?!

http://gizmodo.com/is-this-ul-listed-1694766975

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by skeetab5780 » Apr 05 2015 6:39pm

Ya that is the new buzz... wall plates with built in LED night lighting/or USB ports so you do not have to take up an outlet spot for no reason! The reason they are allowing this is because the current draw is next to nothing.

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Re: 120V receptacle Ground UP or DOWN ?? seem not very clear

Post by Hillhater » Apr 06 2015 6:38pm

Punx0r wrote:Always interesting to see how standards for common things vary around the world.
s.
yes, if my memory serve me well,..UK plugs/sockets are earth upwards.
Oddly, considering how much of our history and technology is copied from the UK, but Aussie plugs are all earth pin downwards ? :?:
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